5 Fun Photos To Take At The Beach

fun photos to take at the beach - such easy and adorable ideas

 Are you planning a trip to the beach this summer?

If so, then you MUST give one of these hilarious and super easy photo ideas a try.

fun photos to take at the beach 3Bury one child in the sand and then have another child bend over him for this funny headless kid illusion (via HERE).

6014187274_f5e5412fcd_oHave everyone bend over and draw a face in the sand where there shadow falls (via HERE).

fun photos to take at the beach 1Build a snowman and get your Christmas card photo taken care of in advance (via HERE).

fun photos to take at the beach 2

Having a family reunion soon?

Hit the dollar store for a billion beach balls and snap a photo of everyone playing with them (via the amazing Kristen Duke Photography).

fun photos to take at the beach 5And finally, this one (via HERE) is my fave.

Grab a beach bucket and head a short distance away from your subjects.

Hold the bucket in front of the camera, have your subjects act afraid, and SNAP.

It will get a ton of ‘likes’ on Facebook and Instagram – no doubt.

**But ‘likes’ don’t matter, right? **

;-)

It’s all in making that fun memory with your Happy Home.

Happy Fun Photo At the Beach-ing! :-)

*Check out fun and easy photo ideas using chalk HERE!*

Summer Service Ideas – FREE Printable

While your kids are draping themselves over chairs complaining that there’s nothing to do, gently encourage their little hearts to go and be a blessing to someone.

Here are a few ways we like to serve in the hot months of summer…summer serve ideas at happy home fairy.jpg

Our favorite is to bring cold water bottles to the garbage men – I learned that one from my sweet dad!

Click HERE for your FREE Summer Service Printable

Happy Summer Service-ing! :-)

55 Fun and Easy Ideas for Summer

55 ideas for summer - such a great and easy list of fun ideas for my family this summer!.jpgI’ve started to cut back on all the ’round-ups’ I used to do because Pinterest is overflowing with posts promising, “5,000 Kid Activities!” or “6 Trillion Boredom Busters!”

But I like to think that my specialty is finding the ideas that are REALLY easy – the ones that make you say,

“I can do that!”

I tell people that each of my kids took a little bit of my brain with them when they came out (which, if you know me, doesn’t say much about how much brain I started with ;-)).

The point is, when it’s 1,000 degrees out and your kids have watched enough TV to rot all that good brain they stole from you you lovingly gave them, moms need ideas that don’t require a whole lot of thinking.

They also need ideas that require stuff we can find under our kitchen sinks or in our pantries or sock drawers.

With that said, here is an EPIC list featuring 55 of Happy Home Fairy’s favorite fun and easy ideas to do with your Happy Buddies this summer.

I hope you’ll share it with all the other low-brain-functioning Superhero Moms out there. :-)

marshmallow structures#1 – Build some Marshmallow Structures (via Craft Interrupted).

#2 – Have a Midnight Kickball Game (via Happy Home Fairy).

sunshine cupcakes - these are so cute and easy. Perfect for summer!.jpg#3 – Bake a batch of Sunshine Cupcakes (via Happy Home Fairy).

paint seashells#4 – Paint Seashells (via Pink Sky Photography).

quick-and-easy-kids-binoculars-just-takes-5-minutes#5 – Make binoculars out of toilet paper rolls (via Sweet C’s Designs) .

#6 – Decorate the outside of Dad’s car while he is at work with streamers and balloons and homemade signs.

ketchup painting#7 – Fill an empty ketchup bottle with water and squirt designs on the sidewalk (via I Can Do That! So Can You…)

diaper ditch at happy home fairy#8 – Ding Dong Ditch a box of diapers to a new mom or local pregnancy center (via Happy Home Fairy).

#9 – Visit a pet store and name all the animals.

watermelon bowling#10 – Play Wacky Watermelon Bowling (via Growing a Jeweled Rose).

Sumoboys#11 – Sumo Wrestling (via All For The Boys).

#12 – Skype with someone and tell them funny jokes like, “What does the sun drink out of?”  SUNGLASSES! :-)

fairy jar#13 – Make Fairies in a Jar (via Pinterest).

#14 – Play with Pipe Cleaners (via Spoonful).

wooden spoon puppet#15 – Make Wooden Spoon Puppets (via Creative Learning Fun).

#16 – Give your pet a party (via Family Fun).

shaving cream#17 – Shaving Cream + Plastic Tablecloth (via HeyDay Living).

#18 – Look through old photos together.

wrap duct tape around your child's wrist, send them outside and let them decorate their 'bracelet' with items they find in nature! I LOVE THIS!#19 – Make Nature Bracelets (via Happy Home Fairy).

puffy paint#20 – Make Homemade Puffy Paint (via Skip to My Lou).

robot-prompts-1#21 – Use these FREE Printable Robot Drawing Prompts (via Picklebums).

noodle game#22 – Play this super fun Pool Noodle Game (via Parents).

#23 – Dress up super fancy for dinner and talk in British accents.

plate crowns#24 – Make these super easy Paper Plate Crowns (via Meaningful Mama).

laser beam#25 – Make a Laser Beam Obstacle (via All for the Boys).

#26 – Bring in someone’s trash cans.

#27 – FAMILY DANCE PARTY.

best bubbles#28 – Make this World’s Greatest Bubble Recipe (via Under the Sycamore).

water bin#29 – Make this easy Plastic Bin Water Table (via Mom to 2 Posh Lil’ Divas).

#30 – Have dessert for breakfast one morning.

car s'mores#31 – Make Car S’mores (via Mom Advice).

foil river#32 – Make a Tin Foil River (via I Can Teach My Child).

#33 – Make a music video to your favorite song and share it on Facebook.

cave of stars#34 – Create a Cave of Stars (via Pinterest).

Photo Source

Photo Source

#35 – Have a Glow Stick Bath (via Happy Home Fairy).

roads#36 – Make some Tape Roads (via Parents).

Homemade-Gak-This-is-the-cheapest-and-best-kid-entertainment-ever-Recipe-on-lilluna.com-gak#37 – Make GAK (via Lil’ Luna).

sunbleach-puzzle2#38 – Make a Sun-Bleached ABC Mat (via Kids Activities Blog).

cereal-box-puzzles#39 – Make Cereal Box Puzzles (via Happy Hooligans).

marshmallows#40 – Make Marshmallow People (via Color Me Katie).

pet rocks#41 – Make Pet Rocks (via Cocoa Bean Blog).

walking tacos#42 – Make Walking Tacos (via The Girl Who Ate Everything).

pompom spooning at happyhomefairy#43 – Play Pom Pom Spooning (via Happy Home Fairy).

color-scavenger-hunt#44 – Have a Rainbow Toy Hunt (via Hands On: As We Grow).

cheerios#45 – Play with Cheerios (via Teach Preschool).

#46 – Go out for ice cream in your pajamas (the whole family must participate).

#47 – Run through the sprinklers.

coolsummer#48 – Drop off a box of popsicles at a friend’s house (via eighteen25).

sidewalk chalk photo#49 – Take fun Sidewalk Chalk Photos (via Pinterest).

#50 – Go on a night walk around the neighborhood with flashlights.

rainbow paint#51 – Use Shaving Cream Bath Paint in the tub (via Meet the Dubiens).

mini-biscuit-pizza-recipe#52 – Make Homemade Pizzas (via Queen Bee Coupons).

ice-cream-sandwich-cute#53 – Make an Ice Cream Sandwich Cake (via The Girl Who Ate Everything).

saran wrap window clings#54 – Make Homemade Window Clings with Saran Wrap and Sharpies (via Abernathy Crafts).

#55 – Savor every second.

Happy 55 Awesome Summer Ideas-ing! :-)

*Please ‘Pin’ the image provided at the top of this post. To pin an individual activity, please visit the amazing sites listed.  Thank you!*

10 Things I Want To Do This Summer

10 things i want to do this summer..jpgEvery Summer I try to put together a list of things I want our family to do (you can see our Summer Bucket List from last year HERE).

This year, though, I wanted to make a little Summer Bucket List for myself, if you will.

Because making tin foil rivers and figuring out the best recipe for homemade bubbles is awesome and all, but there are a few things I am interested in personally accomplishing over the next couple of months.

1. Paint the front door YELLOW.

I have been kind of obsessed with yellow doors lately (you can see some of the ones I have been pinning HERE).  If we somehow fall into some extra money this summer, it will be going toward this bright and happy project.

2. Dye my hair like Lorelai Gilmore’s.

Oh my goodness.  Gilmore Girls.  One of my favorite shows of all time.  Why, oh why did they have to stop after only 7 seasons?  I am making the hubs watch the entire series with me this summer (along with So You Think You Can Dance).   Every time we watch it, I drool over Lorelai’s hair color.  It’s like this deep chocolatey brown but with beautiful red highlights.  I’m feeling adventurous.

I am also secretly dreaming about getting my nose pierced this summer.

It’s quite possible I am having a mid-life crisis. :-)

3. Take the kids to the dentist.

I am HORRIBLE at remembering to brush my children’s teeth.  So I have been avoiding the dentist like the plague because I know they are going to punish me with disapproving stares when they see the evidence of neglect in my kids’ mouths.

Not to mention that I don’t like going to the dentist and haven’t quite figured out how to cast this particular person in a positive light for my children.  I used to tremble in the waiting room as a kid.  Not even the treasure chest or 152 flavors of flouride treatments could change my opinion.  And these days I am always getting in trouble for not flossing.  Also my last pregnancy apparently sucked every last bit of health from my gums, so my trips to the dentist now usually end up with me looking like a scene out of the Vampire Diaries and wondering what having dentures will be like one day.

4. Teach my kids to swim.

Another area of neglect is that I have not yet taught my kids how to swim.

And we live in FLORIDA, people.

Not a fan of all the time it takes to put sunscreen on squirming little people so we generally don’t go to pools or the beach that often.

There is an indoor swim academy right by our house, however, and they were offering this AMAZING deal for 4 swimming lessons so I snatched it up.  It’s time we get this figured out so the hubs and I can actually have fun at family swim parties and trips to the beach instead of playing Rock Paper Scissors to see who will do CPR if necessary.

5. Finish my Bible study.

I have fallen in love with Lysa TerKeurst and am eating up everything she has to offer.  I did THIS BOOK earlier in the year and now I am doing THIS ONE called What Happens When Women Say Yes To God.

Remember my post about The Prayer Chair?  Yeah, well, I haven’t been the best about waking up early these days, so my times with the Lord have been a little less consistent but definitely more creative.  5 minutes alone in the bathroom?  Let’s dig into God’s Word.  At a red light?  Let’s finish up Chapter 6’s study questions.

I’m hoping that the summer will be a bit more relaxed and I will be able to finally figure out exactly how to say yes to God. :-)

6. Respond to people who comment on Happy Home Fairy things.

I’ve been writing this blog since 2010 and I have been AWFUL at responding to all the sweet people (like my top commenters Debbie, April and Brandi, to name a few) who take the time to let me know they liked a post or printable or to just share an encouraging word.  I seriously read EVERY SINGLE ONE and they bless me MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW, but I have just never been able to figure out a good response groove.  Like if I respond to one, then I feel I have to respond to them all (even though there really aren’t a whole lot to manage).

I’m kind of an all or nothing kind of girl.  Like if I can’t remember to brush my kids’ teeth every day then I might as well not brush them at all.

Lately, though, I have been really desiring to grow this blog and I think one of the things that I could do better is taking the time to connect with my readers.  So, this summer I am going to do my very best to reply to every commenter.  Even the ones on Instagram.  And maybe Facebook. :-)

7. Get 10,000 ‘Likes’ on Facebook.

Speaking of Facebook, I have this little dream of reaching 10,000 likes.  I wish I had more time to pour into social media things.  To be honest, I am AWFUL at writing status updates.  I feel like there are people who just think in status updates and are constantly rolling out these intelligent and inspiring words.

Not me.

It sometimes takes me hours (and several trial runs by the hubs) to come up with something that I think is worthy enough to be shared.  Plus, for the same reason I completely failed as an independent consultant for a home party business, I hate promoting myself.  I always feel like I am bothering people with stuff about… me.

I suppose if I bothered them they could ‘unlike’ me, but then I would just feel bad about that.

Maybe the answer here is that I am just not cut out to have a huge, exploding blog and should revise some of these summer dreams to be more along the lines of ways I can be a better mom.

Because clearly I spend too much time blogging and not enough time preserving my children’s pearly whites.

8. Go see a movie.

Man, when the hubs and I were in college we lived near a dollar theater and we went to the movies almost every weekend.  It was the greatest.

Then we had kids.

Isn’t it funny how going to the movies now seems like such a huge and expensive event?

But seeing a movie with my love is one of my fondest memories.  Especially in the summertime.  I love wearing a flowy dress and walking hand and hand through the parking lot after a good flick.  Possibly holding ice cream cones with our other free hand.

9. Soak up every minute with my kids.

I really want to be intentional about loving every relaxed-paced second I have this summer with my 2 little buddies.  I will be making the transition from part-time to full-time teaching in the fall so these next 2 months are going to be incredibly precious as we savor laid back mornings, running through the sprinklers (since they can’t swim yet), and having after dinner Dubstep dance parties.

10. Holding on to JOY when it gets hot.

Other than our trip to the Bahamas, we’ve been encountering a series of unfortunate events involving our house, our mortgage, water damage, mold, medical bills, insurance, my husband’s chronic back pain, illness, and job stresses.

Just the other day I said to no one in particular, “Are we in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?”

But then I quickly remembered that JESUS was in that furnace, too – right there with them.

And I vowed to walk in the same kind of trust and obedience as those 3 faithful men.

Even when things get hot.

And in summertime in South Florida, it’s kind of inevitable. :-)

So that’s my list.

What’s on yours?

(And if you answer this question by commenting below, I will reply to you – pinky swear.)

- Julie

How To Not Hear “I’m Bored” This Summer – FREE Printable!

FREE Printable BORED sign for summer!You know it’s coming.

That moment when you’ve taken the kids to 13 trillion different water parks and play dates and ice cream parlors and libraries and malls and movies and bowling and after all that one of them is going to have the nerve to throw himself across the couch and say with an exasperated sigh, “I’m soooooo bored.”

When my hubby was little, if he ever, EVER dared to utter that phrase in his house, he was immediately issued a chore.

So he learned real quick how to keep himself entertained – especially during the summer months.

Another way to inspire your kids to not use the ‘b-word’ (although I am personally in favor of serving up housework – you will probably have the cleanest house ever this summer) is to use this fun FREE Printable.

Post it on your fridge as a handy, inspirational reference!BORED poster 1BORED poster 3

I think it’s time to clean my fridge. ;-)

**Click HERE for your FREE Printable for Summer!**

Happy No More BORED Summer-ing! :-)

Sunshine Cupcakes

sunshine cupcakes - these are so cute and easy. Perfect for summer!.jpgWe’ve been making these adorable sunshine cupcakes for the last 2 years on the first day of summer.

They are so easy!

sunshine cupcakes ingredients.jpgYou will need:

Cupcakes

Icing

Yellow Food Coloring

String Licorice

Mini Chocolate Chips

Candy Corn (I find candy corn year round in the candy aisle at our local Publix grocery store)

Directions:sunshine cupcakes 1.jpgsunshine cupcakes 2.jpgsunshine cupcakes 3.jpgsunshine cupcakes 4.jpg

If you’re brave You can set out little bowls with the ingredients and let your kids put them together.

These were the Happy Buddy’s…sunshine cupcakes .jpg

We’re all excited about summer over here. ;-)

Happy Sunshine Cupcake-ing!

“From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!” Psalm 113:3 (ESV)

Summer Chalk Photo Ideas

great summer chalk ideas at happyhomefairy.comRaise your hand if you have been outside drawing with chalk this summer!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know we have.

Sidewalk chalk drawing is a great summer activity, but let’s be honest, sometimes it can get a bit drab if you don’t know what to draw.

So I’ve rounded-up a few ideas to inspire a mini-photography session with your Happy Buddies and their chalk art on a hot summer day.

*Please note – Often times on Pinterest when I find images or ideas, the links are broken.  I try very hard to locate the correct link to give proper credit, but frequently I end up with nothing.  So if you happen to know the true sources of these images, please let me know!*

No Source

No Source

This is too hilarious – no skinny dipping.

No Source

No Source

Sun bathing at the beach!

Click Image for Credit

Click Image for Credit

Enjoying a peaceful swim in the ocean.

No Source

No Source

Under the sea.

Click Image for Credit

Click Image for Credit

A whaley good time.

Click Image for Credit

Click Image for Credit

Up, up and away.

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

And if you want to surprise a friend or neighbor with a little summer ‘happy’ to follow through on some of these creative chalk photos, pick up this adorable FREE Printable from i heart nap time.

Happy Chalk Photography-ing! :-)

*For more great chalk ideas and homemade chalk recipes go HERE.*

10 Great Ideas for Water Balloons

really great water balloon ideas to beat the summer heat!When the temperatures are soaring and there’s sweat dripping everywhere, one of the best things you can do to cool down is grab an armload of water balloons.

A good old fashioned water balloon fight is really and truly the greatest thing ever, but it is always fun to mix it up.

So here is a post to bring you a burst of inspiration. :-)

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

Motherhood on a Dime drew a target on the driveway with chalk and her Happy Buddies had to try to get a bullseye by tossing water balloons.

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

This Water Balloon Towel Toss idea from Love, Play, Learn looks like a ton of fun.

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

These Water Balloon Spoon Races from Two Shades of Pink would make a perfect activity at a summer picnic.

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

What kid wouldn’t love the chance to swing at a Water Balloon Piñata like this one from Scrap Happy Heather?

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

Send your Happy Buddies outside for a Water Balloon Hunt!

I like the creative and educational twist on this one from Mess For Less.

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

Recycle an old water or milk jug by cutting off the bottom and using it as a Water Balloon Catcher for this great game over at Spoonful.

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

Remember those bath time icebergs I made for the Happy Buddy a few years ago?

This is a similar concept…  Stick a small toy into a balloon, fill it with water, tie, then put in the freezer.

When the water is frozen, cut away the balloon and tada!  You have amazing Ice Eggs from A Little Learning for Two for your Happy Buddies to excavate.

*I suppose it would be worth noting that this particular ‘water’ balloon activity should not involve any kind of throwing at one another – ouch.*

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

Get a team together for Water Balloon Baseball from icandy handmade.

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

I am a BIG fan of Ding Dong Ditch-ing random things to neighbors, so this idea from Pennies of Time really spoke to me.

This Happy Home filled up a bunch of water balloons, put them in a box, and left them on the doorstep for another family to find and enjoy on a super sweltering day.

Talk about AWESOME.  I mean, we would all be having water balloon fights a whole lot more if they weren’t such a pain to fill up, right?!  Do it so that someone else doesn’t have to!!  Love it.  Sounds like Jesus to me.

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

Finally, I think Daddy would like to find this when he gets home from a long day at work…

:-)

Have fun staying cool.

Happy Water Balloon-ing!

I Better Start Posting S’more

5 simple and yummy recipes to make a s'more even more awesome! I LOVE these! perfect for National S'more Day on August 10th!!!

I apologize for my absence.  I hit the publish button on THIS CRAZY POST and then I came down with THE FLU.

Not even kidding.

I haven’t been that sick in my whole life.  EVER.  Whoa, I could not even take care of my boys!  I was literally tossing Cheerios on the ground from my permanent position on the couch hoping that someone would come by and find nourishment if they needed it.

Now that nasty bug is working its way through every member in the family.  We were discussing the various things that needed to be Clorox-ed around the house and the Happy Hubby was like can you Clorox the inside of a person’s mouth?? :-)

But we are surviving.  And I might add, a HUGE part in thanks to you, sweet readers!

Your comments and emails and music videos and encouraging words this last week have truly lifted me up.

I feel so blessed and so grateful for the Happy Home Fairy community!!

And as the Happy Home Fairy, I consider it one of my highest callings to make you all privy to random holidays.  Life is about celebrating!

Did you guys know that August 10 is National S’mores Day??

I have put together a few fun s’more recipes that go beyond the traditional summer treat in order to have a sticky, gooey blast on August 10th.

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

Baked by Rachel shares the recipe for Perfect S’more Cookies.

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

These S’more Pops from Gimme Some Oven would be so fun to make with a group of Happy Buddies (that are not currently attending Veggie Boot Camp). :-)

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

I think this S’mores Snack Mix from Cookies and Cups looks absolutely irresistible.

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

I hear this easy S’more Cake from Chef In Training is better than anything.

Now that is a hypothesis worth testing!

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

And this last idea is my favorite because it is just so. awesome.

Pop on over to Family Chic to find out how to make s’mores in your car.  Seriously, you do not need a campfire, friends.

Your Happy Buddies are going to love this perfect summer activity.

If you are a die-hard s’more fan, then you should check out my S’more Pinterest Board HERE (which even includes an adorable FREE Printable s’more-themed love note for your Happy Hubby!).

Happy National S’mores Day-ing! :-)

Dear Lightning Bugs, I Miss You.

such cute lightning bug craft ideas for summertime!One of the best things about summertime in the small New Jersey town I grew up in was catching fireflies.

My brothers and I would find a jar and fill it up so fast!

Some of my first babysitting jobs were in the summer of 1995.  I was so nervous and I remember asking my mom what in the world would I do with my new little clients before their bedtime?!

She responded cheerfully, “Catch fireflies!”

It was a terrible realization when my family relocated to Florida a few years later and we found that there were no. lightning bugs. anywhere.

I am now coping by putting together a fun little post that celebrates those blinky, happy little buggies.

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

Summertime usually means more booboos (all that outdoor play!) and more booboos means more bandaids in your medicine cabinet.

If you have fun colored bandaids on hand you can whip up this creative Bandage Lightning Bug Craft from No Time for Flashcards.

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

Do you find it hard to tell your Happy Buddies that they can’t bring their jar of fireflies inside for the night?

Come Together Kids has the perfect solution for a Glow In the Dark Firefly Jar using just 3 supplies.  So cute!

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

How Does She? featured this great Lightning Bug Craft made from up-cycling a plastic bottle.

Toss in a glow stick and voila!

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

I love this simple Glowing Lightning Bug from All Kids Network using a bit of glow-in-the-dark paint for an authentic look.

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

I found one more way to use those leftover Easter eggs!

Apartment Therapy featured some stinkin’ cute Easter Egg Lightning Bugs that are so easy to make.

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

Finally, Amy, via Tatertots and Jello, made this Lightning Bug Jar Printable for you to attach to a mason jar and give as a neat mid-summer gift.

I am feeling so nostalgic for some fireflies!

If you have them in your area, please catch a few for me, will yah?

:-)

Happy Lightning Bug Craft-ing!